Healthcare facilities are not up to the mark for elderly people in Canada, reveal two new surveys.
According to a poll by the Canadian Medical Association(CMA), 1 in 4 only believe there will be adequate long-term facilities, 1 in 3 only think there will be sufficient hospital beds and 3 in 5 do not feel they are financially good to take care of their elderly family members for longer periods.
The association represents 80,000 physicians, residents and medical students and is holding its annual meeting in Halifax. The focus is on adopting a national strategy for seniors'care.
"We don't want little election goodies with a seniors' theme; we want a commitment to a long-term strategic plan. Everyone already has horror stories in their families, and when they hear the doomsday stats, they really get worried about the future. Seniors' health care is an issue that is really starting to resonate across the generations," said Dr. Chris Simpson, President of the CMA.
Another poll by the Canadian Alliance for Long Term Care (CALTC), found that just 18 % of citizens believe that hospital and long-term care homes would be able to meet the needs of the aging population, and only 20% think there will be enough trained staff to provide adequate care.
The survey also showed that the top three concerns about the health-care system are long wait times for surgery, lack of access to long-term care and insufficient home-care services.
In the CMA survey, 89 % want the health needs of Canada's aging population an "urgent priority," while the CALTC poll found that 93% have an obligation to ensure Canadians have equitable access to care, regardless of where they live.
At present 15% of the population comprises of elderly people and it is estimated to reach 25 % after a period of time. While this demographic shift is having an enormous impact on demand for services, the health system has been slow to adjust and is struggling to keep pace.
"Seniors today want to age well at home and in the community, and health-care professionals (and politicians) need to tune in to those aspirations," said Dr. Simpson.
The CMA poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid which surveyed 2,008 Canadian adults between July 20 and 24. It is considered accurate to within 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The CALTC poll was conducted by Nanos which surveyed 1,000 Canadian between June 18 and 20. It is considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.